This isn’t just about real flesh and blood teachers to me, I see this also as the idea that when you are thinking about something, you see related things all over. I found my latest ‘teacher’ in Vienna: in a video of all things.
I have been struggling with my life a bit for a while. It is a really great life and I am happy, it just felt like something was missing. I really needed a vacation, just to get away and think if nothing else. I have a good friend studying in Prague who had never seen Vienna. I lived there for a summer, so it just fell out that we would meet over Easter weekend then I would travel back up to Prague to hang out there for a week. I figured I would just rest up and enjoy being in travel-mode for a bit.
Then I hit the Hundertwasser Epiphany.
Sunny Walk and a Video
I remembered the Hundertwasser House from my previous trips here. My friend is studying landscape design and knew a lot about him, so we took a sunny walk over to see it. Now I’ve seen this building before so I knew what it looked like, but as they say when the student is ready a teacher will be found. This time on a sunny April day this building and his ideas really affected me and struck me to the core. They don’t come all that often, but travel will bring you to really great turning points like this one. Travel for me is usually a growing experience of slow changes not radical alterations.
We were walking along in the sun and talking about beauty and design as linked concepts. Then we come up on the building. It is a whimsical multicolored building in the midst of a city that is known for white paint and straight lines. My friend immediately started taking pictures while I enjoyed seeing her enjoy the building. Then things changed; a guy came up and told us about a free video about Hundertwasser playing in a gift shop next to the building. We thought, “Cool free place to sit for a few minutes and neat video.”
The Moment of Epiphany
Ok, Hundertwasser was really cool. His ideas about urban design, how people would like to live and creativity in general are mind boggling. I unfortunately don’t remember the phrase, but something he said on this little 20 minute video seriously resonated in me. Stronger than I have felt in a long time. I realized part of me had been denied for a too long. I had in the last 2 years moved half way around the world and set up a life here more fulfilling than the one I left. I had won against the odds and was having the time of my life. But watching this man talk about planting trees on top of buildings and building curves into them made me realize that I had been neglecting my own creative juices. From that moment on for the next week those juices just flowed in me uninhibited and free. It was truly awesome. I have dubbed this moment the Hundertwasser Epiphany.
Like most revelations it was really simple and really profound. I had been spending so much time in reality and on practical matters that I had neglected to a large part my creativity. I used to paint, throw pottery, have worked in theater and wrote, but really nothing at all in 6 months.
Even at that moment, I knew something had changed. I was in wonder of this building and the idea-man behind it. I had seen it before and knew it was cool, but this time I SAW it. I spend the next hour talking through these new ideas with my friend. Having someone to support really helped, especially someone who understands creativity. This Blog in very large part can be traced back to that moment deciding that in order to actually enjoy life I need a creative outlet. So Prague became a fertile ground for me to grow these ideas, that would have been crushed going back into ‘real life’ too soon.
The merging of art, travel and philosophy kept coming to mind. So here is the reborn Groundedtraveler. My passions of art, the mind and travel in one place. Here’s to not forgetting half of myself again.
- Wikipedia Article on Hundertwasser: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundertwasser
- Wikipedia Article on the House itself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundertwasserhaus
Here are some views of the amazing place.